pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər \

Definition of posture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture
b : the pose of a model or artistic figure
2 : state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances maintain a competitive posture in the market
3 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude


postured; posturing

Definition of posture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to assume a given posture : pose

intransitive verb

1 : to assume a posture especially : to strike a pose for effect
2 : to assume an artificial or pretended attitude : attitudinize

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Other Words from posture


posturer \ ˈpäs-​chər-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for posture

Synonyms: Noun

attitude, carriage, poise, stance, station

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Examples of posture in a Sentence


Human beings have an upright posture. a good upright posture will prevent backaches

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Exhibited in a museum or gallery, Ms. Thomas’s photo might be taken as a comment on the different postures and personas available to black women. New York Times, "Legacy Records Looks for History in a Brand New Neighborhood," 19 June 2018 The main page does include a photo, but in it his father is walking away from him, only recognizable by his slumping posture and white head of hair. Matt Viser,, "Bernie Sanders hasn’t endorsed his candidate son," 7 June 2018 In contrast, Mary is highly expressive with her posture and gestures. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Physical tendencies reflect our mental states," 5 Apr. 2018 Hence, the growing popularity for standing desks, which are said to boost blood flow, reduce back pain, improve posture, lower blood sugar, and aid in weight loss. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Turn Your Desk Into the Ultimate Self-Care Station in 2019," 12 Dec. 2018 Zeiger, who is tall and athletic, with rigid military posture, watched the other women from behind her Wayfarer-style sunglasses until Landolphi pulled her up from her seat. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 Some lawmakers have adopted the administration’s posture on Canada, pressuring them to get in line or else. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The NAFTA deadline is Sunday. What happens if there’s no deal?," 29 Sep. 2018 Ford is solidly built and walks with an upright posture that hints at his disciplined work ethic and academic background. Evan Sernoffsky,, "In Bayview, a police effort to build trust as captain reaches out to black community," 15 June 2018 And moderate House Republicans fell short of securing enough support to force votes on sweeping protections for young undocumented immigrants - a measure at odds with Trump's hard-line immigration posture. Sean Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Sanford falters in South Carolina after critical tweet from Trump," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

President Trump's critics often accuse him of using a constant spray of Twitter posts, provocative statements and posturing to distract attention from his administration's controversies. David Lauter,, "The Trump administration sure does sell books," 20 Apr. 2018 Philadelphia views the situation very similarly to the end of Paul George’s tenure in Indiana 12 months ago: The Spurs have a fractured relationship with their star and Leonard’s camp has publicly postured for San Antonio to trade him. Jake Fischer,, "Sources: Sixers Weighing Various Trade Packages for Kawhi Leonard," 28 June 2018 Not so many years ago Silicon Valley postured as libertarian. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 There are rumors swirling and everyone is posturing during this time. Matt Babcock,, "Trust the (Draft) Process: Inside NBA Prospect Workouts," 6 June 2018 Still, others maintain that much of the back-and-forth between Washington and Beijing appears to be posturing for now—and that the odds of a full trade war breaking out remain slim. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Gains in Technology, Financial Shares Help Lift Indexes," 28 June 2018 And equally, the Democrats who are currently posturing are playing a good card badly. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall," 22 June 2018 Working from his opponent’s guard, Jackson was able to easily posture and rain down punches from the top. John Morgan, USA TODAY, "CM Punk falls to Mike Jackson via decision at UFC 225," 9 June 2018 So message received: The American enemy will posture and thump his chest, but is afraid to actually stand up to you, even though his air force could blow yours out of the sky and his navy sink yours to the bottom of the sea. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The many things Trump didn’t accomplish in the latest Syria strike," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'posture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of posture


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for posture


Middle French, from Italian postura, from Latin positura, from positus, past participle of ponere to place — more at position

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Statistics for posture

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for posture

The first known use of posture was circa 1586

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More Definitions for posture



English Language Learners Definition of posture

: the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing

: the attitude a person or group has toward a subject


pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər \

Kids Definition of posture

: the way in which the body is positioned when sitting or standing : the general way of holding the body an upright posture a humble posture


pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər \

Medical Definition of posture

1 : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture
2 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude

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